When trying to give up soda, it may be a hard switch to just fresh water so I suggest trying to switch first to a natural lemonade that can you some flavor while helping you retrain your brain that it doesn’t need the soda fix. For this lemonade I decided to use some of the basil I was growing. This variety was a Citrus Basil so perfect for an afternoon lemonade.
Basil adds some flavor but also contains lots of key nutrients that are very beneficial for us. For example, Basil contains eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol oils. These oils are great with working in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory issues. Another great benefit is that it contains high levels in magnesium which helps improve blood flow and relaxes your muscles and blood vessels.
Two other uses for Basil that may surprise you is that it carries anti-bacterial properties and can even reduce nausea. The last (but not least) property I want to talk about with Basil is how it alkalizes the body. Basil provides alkalizing minerals to help balance the typical acidic diet that we engage in too often.
To make the simple syrup:
1c agave (or less)
In a saucepan, cook water and agave over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is a clear syrup. Set aside.
To make the lemonade:
1 recipe of simple syrup
1c freshly squeezed lemon juice
4c cold water
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
To a pitcher, add lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold water. Stir and taste. If too sweet (every batch is different according to your lemons), add more cold water until desired sweetness is reached. Add basil, lemon rounds and ice just before serving.
Thanks Chelsey, Simply More Plants’ team member, for this great article and recipe!